Jacks face winless Dixie State

0-3 Trailblazers have toughest FCS schedule he’s ever seen, Stiegelmeier says

Skyler Jackson, Sports Editor

The South Dakota State Jackrabbits return to Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium this weekend as they take on Dixie State Oct. 2 at 6 p.m.

This is the 54th annual Beef Bowl, with festivities including a pre-game barbecue with proceeds going toward scholarships in the Animal and Range Sciences Department, as well as the presentation of the SDSU Friends of the Beef Industry Award.

Here’s what to look for ahead of Saturday’s matchup.

South Dakota State

The Jackrabbits, currently ranked second in the Football Championship Subdivision STATS poll, have played nearly flawless football over their firstthree games.

Their latest outing was a 44-0 road shutout win against Indiana State Sept. 25.

Currently, the Jackrabbits lead the conference in points per game with 46, and the defense ranks second in points allowed, averaging 10 per game.

Looking ahead after this game, the Jackrabbits face their first major test of the season as the No. 7 Southern Illinois Salukis, a team SDSU beat twice last season, come to Dykhouse Stadium.

“I’m really proud of our football program to go on the road in the Missouri Valley and play at a high level,” Stiegelmeier said in his weekly press conference. “It’s good to get a shutout and good to get a win in the Missouri Valley.”

Dixie State

Led by third-year coach Paul Peterson, the Dixie State Trailblazers have had a rough start to their season.

In its first season of Division I football, Dixie State (0-3) has one of the toughest schedules in the FCS, having to face seven ranked teams, including five ranked in the top ten.

After suffering a 19-7 loss to Sacramento State in week 1, the Trailblazers hosted No. 8 Weber State Sept. 11, losing 41-3. The following week, Dixie State played its first road game of the season, traveling to 12th ranked UC Davis, ending in a 60-27 loss.

And Dixie State’s schedule doesn’t get any easier. After meeting the Jacks Saturday, they travel to Montana to take on the No. 5 Grizzlies Oct. 9.

“They’ve got the toughest schedule I’ve ever seen in FCS football,” Stiegelmeier said about Dixie State. “But they’re getting better. They play hard on defense, and they spread you out on offense. We’ve got to be ready.”

Key players for SDSU

The Jackrabbits have gotten production from just about all of their starters.

Key players for the Jackrabbit offense include quarterback Chris Oladokun, running back Pierre Strong Jr., wide receivers Jaxon and Jadon Janke, and tight ends Zach Heins and Tucker Kraft.

Last week against Indiana State, Oladokun completed 12 of 21 passes for 216 yards and four total touchdowns, three passing and one receiving before starters left the game in the third quarter.

Strong finished with 150 yards on 20 carries, and he threw for a touchdown. For his performance, he was named player of the game and MVFC offensive player of the week. Other contributors in the game were the Janke twins and Kraft, who each scored a touchdown.

Defensively, Jackrabbit key starters include Adam Bock, who leads the team with 21 tackles, including 10 last week, Logan Backhaus, who’s second with 17, and Isaiah Stalbird with 15. Defensive tackle Caleb Sanders leads the team with 2.5 sacks.

Other key contributors to the Jackrabbit defense are linebacker Graham Spalding, and safety Daeton Mcgaughy, who along with Bock, each have an interception on the season.

Key Players for Dixie St.

Like SDSU, Dixie State has gotten some positive production from multiple players on offense and defense.

For the Trailblazer offense, quarterback Kody Wilstead started the first two games for the Trailblazers and is 23-44 for 226 yards and two interceptions on the season before backup Kenyon Oblad took over in the fourth quarter against Weber State.

Oblad would then start against UC Davis. His season statistics are 37-72 for 436 yards, four touchdowns and six interceptions.

Drew Kannely-Robles is their leading rusher with 99 yards on 19 carries, averaging 5.2 yards per carry. Quali Conley is second in rushing yards with 68 on 24 attempts. Along with being their second leading passer, Wilstead is the team’s third leading rusher with 18 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown.

Receiving leaders for Dixie State include Jalen Powell, 23 receptions for 210 yards and David Fisher, eight receptions for 117 yards.

On defense, Devin Chandler, Colby Williams, and Devyn Perkins each have an interception on the season. Tyrell Grayson leads the team in tackles with 37, while Malaki Malaki is second with 29.

Game Info

Who: Dixie State vs. South Dakota State

When: Sat., Oct. 2 at 6 p.m.

Where: Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium, Brookings, SD

TV: Midco Sports Two / ESPN+

Radio: Jackrabbit Sports Network

Last 10 Beef Bowl Results

Sept. 21, 2019: SDSU 43, Southern Utah 7

Sept. 15, 2018: SDSU 90, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 6

Sept. 16, 2017: SDSU 51, Drake 10

Sept. 17, 2016: Cal Poly 38, SDSU 31

Sept. 26, 2015: SDSU 34, Robert Morris 10

Sept. 20, 2014: SDSU 41, UW-Oshkosh 3

Sept. 14, 2013: SDSU 34, Southeastern Louisiana 26

Sept. 29, 2012: SDSU 17, Missouri State 7

Oct. 1, 2011: Indiana State 38, SDSU 28

Oct. 9, 2010: SDSU 33, Western Illinois 29